Town of Drumheller: Drumheller Memorial Arena REALice Retrofit 

This project was funded through the Recreation Energy Conservation Program

Town of Drumheller

2023Completion Year

$37,331.00Project Cost

$2,565.56Cost Savings

$27,998.25MCCAC Funding

3.6Simple Payback Period

25,846kWh/yearElectrical Energy Savings

152GJ/yearNatural Gas Energy Savings

22tonnes CO2e/yearGHG Reductions

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions for this project are calculated based on Alberta’s Carbon Offset Emission Factors Handbook Version 2.0


As part of the MCCAC’s Recreation Energy Conservation (REC) program, the Town of Drumheller installed a REALice system at the Drumheller Memorial Arena. Constructed around 1975 with a partial renovation completed in 2006 the Memorial Arena is a two-storey building with approximately 48,770 ft2 of floor space and an ice and curling rink. REALice is an energy-saving de-aerating system for ice rinks. It creates a controlled and structured vortex to remove gases and other particulates such as limescale as water flows through the device. REALice-treated water eliminates the need to use heated water when building or resurfacing your ice and reduces compressor loads. The system has no moving parts and is easily integrated into existing piping systems.

The project was commissioned in January 2023. 


This newly installed REALice system will help to reduce the costs of heating the water used to resurface the ice as well as the electricity costs associated with cooling the ice following resurfacing. This system eliminates the need for hot water when building and resurfacing ice by removing micro air bubbles from the incoming water resulting in lower natural gas consumption from water heaters and less load on compressors. 


The REALice installation resulted in a reduction of 22 tCO2/year and an energy cost saving of $2,565.56/year. The system enabled the water heater setpoint temperature to be dropped from 145 F to 45 F. The project resulted in a 9% GHG reduction from the existing system and a 3% reduction facility-wide from the baseline. 

We’re always looking for ways to reduce the operational costs at the arena. Eliminating hot water floods will reduce our natural gas consumption, as we are no longer heating hundreds of gallons of floodwater each day. We’re already running the ice warmer now because of this. This will mean less run time on the compressors and electric savings. So far, we’re impressed by what we’re seeing on the ice.

Reg Bennett, Facilities Manager 


Read more about the Recreation Energy Conservation Program